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Encyclopedia > Numerus clausus

Numerus Clausus ("closed number" in Latin) is one of many methods used to limit the number of students who may study at a university. It can be similar to a quota, both in form and motivation. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Students attending a lecture at the Helsinki University of Technology The word student is etymologically derived through Middle English from the Latin second-type conjugation verb stŭdērĕ, meaning to direct ones zeal at; hence a student is one who directs zeal at a subject. ... Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... A quota is a prescribed number or share of something. ...

Contents

Modern use

The numerus clausus is currently used in countries and universities where the number of applicants greatly exceeds the number of available places for students. This is the case in many countries of continental Europe. Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands and peninsulae. ...


With successful completion of the academically-oriented and state-approved secondary school (usually a Gymnasium), a student passes the so-called Abitur or Matura exams. After this is completed, they receive a document that confirms their passing and lists their grades. This is then used to obtain either an implicit or an explicit permission to study at a university. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Secondary education. ... Abitur (from Latin abire = go away, go off) is the word commonly used in Germany for the final exams young adults (aged 18, 19 or 20) take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling. ... Matura (Matur, Maturita) is the word commonly used in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Liechtenstein, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia and Switzerland for the final exams young adults (aged 18 or 19) take at the end of their secondary education. ...


Students in Germany and much of Europe choose their field of specialization when they begin university study, unlike students in the U.S. who specialize later. Fields such as medicine, biology, dentistry, pharmacology, psychology and business administration are particularly popular and therefore harder to gain admittance to study. World map showing Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. ...


The selection of students for universities depends on the field of study, the specific university they apply to, and the grade point average from the Abitur/Matura.


Numerus clausus in Germany

The numerus clausus is currently used in Germany to address overcrowding and protect specific occupations - while the number of students has increased by 100% to two million since 1980, the number of professors has increased by only 25% in the same time period. A professor giving a lecture The meaning of the word professor (Latin: one who claims publicly to be an expert) varies. ...


The German state in which an Abitur is granted must honor the permission to study at a university. Abitur (from Latin abire = go away, go off) is the word commonly used in Germany for the final exams young adults (aged 18, 19 or 20) take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling. ...


The numerus clausus is a way to select among competing applicants in particularly popular fields at particular universities, by limiting the pool of qualifying applicants. Currently, the selection depends primarily on the field of study, the respective German state, and the Abitur grade point average.


As an illustration, if you wanted to study medicine in 2003, then the qualifying Abitur grade you would need would depend in part on the state in which you applied: to secure a place at a university in Baden-Württemberg you would need a minimum score of 1.8 on a scale of 1.0 (best) to 4.0 (worst); to secure a place in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 2.4 could be a qualifying score. About a quarter of those admitted, however, are selected from a waiting list of unsuccessful applicants from previous years. Baden-Württemberg is a federal state in southwestern Germany to the east of the Upper Rhine. ... Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (German: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) is a Bundesland (federal state) in northern Germany. ...


The numerus clausus is limited to particular universities for many fields, but for the most popular (such as medicine or biology), it is nationwide, with enrollment handled centrally by the Zentralstelle für die Vergabe von Studienplätzen (ZVS).


Simple description of the procedure

On a federal level, each year 51 percent of the available university places in a given field of study, e.g. biology, are distributed among those who have the best Abitur marks, 25 percent of the places are awarded to applicants who are on a waiting list, and the following 24 percent are given to applicants who fulfil the so-called "Hochschulkriterium" (verbatim "High school criterion", in the German language a university is a "high school").


On the local level, applicants are distributed to the several universities. Effectively, about 25 percent are assigned to the university which they want to attend (according to a list of preferences). The rest are given to applicants who have reasons to study in a specific place, e.g. if they have to care for children or if they are disabled.


Numerus Clausus in Finland

The Finnish system of implementing the numerus clausus provides an interesting comparison to the German model. In Germany, the main weight of the student selection lies on the Abitur grades (i.e. high school diploma). In Finland, which has a similar nationwide final exam, the matriculation examination (Finnish ylioppilastutkinto), the majority of student selections are based on entrance exams. As every university has internal autonomy, the entrance procedures vary widely. Most degree programs consist of a single major subject and have their own entrance procedures. Typically, the syllabus of the entrance exam consists of several basic textbooks in the chosen area. Typically, the student must take a written exam consisting of open-ended questions. In addition to the exam score, the applicant may also receive points from the high school diploma grades and from previous experience and hobbies. However, nearly all programs have a quota in which the score is calculated solely on the basis of the entrance exam. The quota gives a second chance to students who have fared badly in the matriculation exam or have only a vocational diploma.


The student is almost never required to a file statement of intent, recommendations or similar personal documents. Interviews are only used in the fields of education and drama. In education, the purpose of the interview is mainly to remove applicants of a totally unsuitable character. The extensive use of standard-form applications and written exams is explained by the fear of personal bias introduced by more personal selection methods.


In fields where the entrance requirement is less competitive, primarily science and technology, the selection system resembles the German model. It is relatively easy to be accepted in these fields - about one third of the study places in technology are awarded on the basis of the matriculation exam. The rest of the students are admitted on the basis of an entrance exam.


In the Finnish system, the numerus clausus is the most important factor limiting student numbers. After gaining entrance, traditionally a student cannot be expelled, pays no tuition, and enjoys a state study grant. The new legislation, introduced in the summer of 2005, limits the study period to seven years, but it is anticipated that it will be relatively easy to receive a permission for a longer study time. No changes to the financial position of the student is currently being considered (as of the summer of 2005). Tuition means instruction, teaching or a fee charged for educational instruction especially at a formal institution of learning. ...


Numerus clausus in Switzerland

The introduction of the Numerus clausus in Switzerland has limited the access to the medical studies at the universities. At all universities of the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the students need to have a high score on an aptitude test which comprises of logical and spacial thinking and text understanding skills.


The universities in the western, French-speaking part of Switzerland did not decide to introduce a numerus clausus. Instead, these universities provide unrestricted access to the first-year curriculum in medicine; and the best first-year students are allowed to furthen their medical studies at the same or at another university.


In other popular faculties like psychology or journalism, there are also aptitude tests - but they concern only a single university.


Use of Numerus clausus as a prejudiced rule

Before the Second World War, the limitations in eastern European countries were usually based on the religion of the student, in particular limiting the number of students of Jewish origin. Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... World map showing Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. ... This article describes some ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity; for a consideration of the Jewish religion, refer to the article Judaism. ...


After World War II, converse regulations that promoted positive discrimination based on racial or social criteria (e.g. peasants, Africans), were introduced in many countries, including Poland and the United States (affirmative action). Affirmative action (US English), or positive discrimination (British English), is a policy or a program providing advantages for people of a minority group who are seen to have traditionally been discriminated against. ... In a detail of Brueghels Land of Cockaigne (1567) a soft-boiled egg has little feet to rush to the luxuriating peasant who catches drops of honey on his tongue, while roast pigs roam wild: in fact, hunger and harsh winters were realities for the average European in the... World map showing location of Africa A satellite composite image of Africa Africa is the worlds second_largest continent in both area and population, after Asia. ... Affirmative action (or positive discrimination) is a policy or a program whose stated goal is to redress past or present discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, for example in education, employment or seats in parliament and/or government. ...


In recent years several major American universities in the western states have been investigated for following a discriminatory policy similar to the numerus clausus in order to restrict the number of Asian student admissions. World map showing the location of Asia. ...


Jewish quota

Main article: Jewish quota Jewish quota was a percentage that limited the number of Jews in various establishments. ...


This limitation took the form of total prohibition of Jewish students, or of limiting the number of Jewish students so that their share in the student population would not be larger than their share in the general population (Jewish quota). It was introduced with a view to balancing the chances for an education among ethnic groups. Jewish quota was a percentage that limited the number of Jews in various establishments. ...


The numerus clausus policies affected a limited number of people, since the number of university students before World War II was very small.


Jews who wanted a university education used various ways to handle this obstacle: bribing the authorities, changing their religion, or traveling to countries without such limitations. In Hungary, for example, 5,000 Jewish youngsters (including Edward Teller) left the country after the introduction of the Numerus Clausus. Edward Teller (original Hungarian name Teller Ede) (January 15, 1908 – September 9, 2003) was a Hungarian-born American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as the father of the hydrogen bomb. ...


The Hungarian Numerus Clausus was intruduced in 1920, as the first Anti-Jewish Act of 20th century Europe. [1] Its aim was to restrict the number of Jews to 6%; the rate of jewish students was 25-40% in the 1910s in different faculties. In 1928 - because of the pressure of liberal capital and League of Nations - a less-explicit version of the act was passed. In the period of 1938-1945 the anti-Jewish acts were revitalised.


Countries legislating limitations on the admission of Jewish students, at various times, have included:

Imperial Russia is the term used to cover the period of history from the expansion of Russia under Peter the Great, through the expansion of the Russian Empire from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, to the deposal of Nicholas II of Russia, the last tsar, at the start... Kārlis Ulmanis (b. ... Yugoslavia (Jugoslavija in Latin, Југославија in Cyrillic, English: Land of the South Slavs) describes four political entities that existed one at a time on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe, during most of the 20th century. ...

Numerus clausus in Poland

Poland tried to introduce a formal Numerus Clausus law in 1923, but faced objections from the League of Nations. However a Numerus Clausus was unofficially introduced in the 1937 by some universities and the share of Jewish students was limited to 10%, which was more or less the proportion of Jews in the population of Poland (compared to 20%-40% before regulation). The League of Nations was an international organization founded after the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. ...


Paradoxically, the numerus clausus caused many Jewish students to emigrate from Poland, and therefore saved their lives during the German Holocaust. It must be emphasized that the numerus clausus was introduced at the level of universities, which in those times didn't educate many students (several thousands at best). However, the introduction of the policy must have had immense influence on the level of the average student. Concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust The Holocaust was Nazi Germanys systematic genocide (ethnic cleansing) of various ethnic, religious, national, and secular groups during World War II. Early elements include the Kristallnacht pogrom and the T-4 Euthanasia Program established by Hitler that killed some 200,000 people. ...


The official reason for the policy was that during the Russian Tsar's rule, Poles were discriminated against in the area of education. They were denied education in Polish, and the schools were badly funded in the countryside. The advocates of the solution pointed out that the limit would balance the chance to enter university of all nationalities in Poland. Although the majority of the szlachta was reconciled to the end of the Commonwealth in 1795, the possibility of Polish independence was kept alive by events within and without Poland throughout the nineteenth century. ...


The other reason given by the supporters of the idea was that it was an attempt to equal the chance of children from countryside families who had very limited access to education to the chance of the children of Jewish families living in the towns and cities. Nevertheless, the Polish intelligentsia of Jewish origins formed at least 40-50% of the whole Polish educated class. The genocide of the Jewish intelligentsia and the genocide of the Polish intelligentsia during WW2 (see Holocaust, AB Action, Katyn massacre) badly affected the development of the Polish economy and society after the war. The notion of an intellectual elite as a distinguished social stratum can be traced far back in history. ... Concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust The Holocaust was Nazi Germanys systematic genocide (ethnic cleansing) of various ethnic, religious, national, and secular groups during World War II. Early elements include the Kristallnacht pogrom and the T-4 Euthanasia Program established by Hitler that killed some 200,000 people. ... AB-Aktion was a campaign to kill leaders of the Polish resistance and cause fear among the Polish population. ... Mass graves at Katyn war cemetery. ...


Similar policies, but based on preferential treatment of peasant children, were introduced after WW2, but with little effect. The communist government of the People's Republic of Poland discriminated against student from the intelligentsia and bourgeois classes. Another form of positive discrimination in education in the People's Republic of Poland was the law enforcing an equal number of students of medicine of both genders, despite the fact that female students usually performed better on exams. All forms of discrimination were abolished in Poland after 1989. The Peoples Republic of Poland or Polish Peoples Republic (Polish: Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, PRL) was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1989, during its period of rule by the Communist party, officially called the Polish United Workers Party (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, or PZPR). ... Education in the Peoples Republic of Poland was a priority of the government, which provided primary schools, secondary schools, vocational education and universities. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Numerus clausus in the United States

Although never officially legislated, between 1918 and the 1950s a number of private universities and medical schools introduced numerus clausus policies limiting admissions of students based on their religion or race to certain percentages within the college population. One of the groups affected by these policies was Jewish applicants whose admission to some New England and New York City area liberal arts universities fell significantly between the late 1910s and the mid-1930s. For instance, the admission to Harvard University during that period fell from 27.6% to 17.1% and in Columbia University from 32.7% to 14.6%. Corresponding quotas were introduced in the medical and dental schools resulting during the 1930s in the decline of Jewish students: e.g. in Cornell University School of Medicine from 40% in 1918-22 to 3.57% in 1940-41, in Boston University Medical School from 48.4% in 1929-30 to 12.5% in 1934-35. During this period, a notable exception among U. S. medical schools was the medical school of Middlesex University, which had no quotas and many Jewish faculty members and students; school officials believed that antisemitism played a role in the school's failure to secure AMA accreditation.[2] The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... Columbia University is a private university whose main campus lies in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of the Borough of Manhattan in New York City. ... Cornell redirects here. ... For the unrelated Jesuit university in Chestnut Hill, see Boston College. ... Middlesex University, known primarily for its medical and veterinary schools, operated from 1914 until 1947, first in Cambridge, Massachusetts, later in Waltham, Massachusetts. ... The American Medical Association (AMA) is the largest association of medical doctors in the United States. ...


In addition to Jewish applicants, Catholics, African-Americans, and women were also targeted by admission restrictions. African-Americans, in some instances, were outright excluded (numerus null) from admission e.g. Columbia University. The most common method, employed by 90% of American universities and colleges at the time to identify the "desirable" (native-born, white, Protestant) applicants were the application form questions about their religious preference, race, and nationality. Other more subtle methods included restrictions on scholarships, rejection of transfer students, and preferences for alumni sons and daughters. Columbia University is a private university whose main campus lies in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of the Borough of Manhattan in New York City. ...


Legacy preference for university admissions was devised in 1925 at Yale University, where the proportional number of Jews in the student body was growing at a rate that became alarming to the school's administrators. However, even prior to that year, Yale had begun to incorporate such amorphous criteria as 'character' and 'solidity', as well as 'physical characteristics', into its admissions process as an excuse for screening out Jewish students; but nothing did the trick quite like legacy preference, which allowed the admissions board to summarily pass over Jews in favor of 'Yale sons of good character and reasonably good record', as a 1929 memo phrased it. Other schools, including Harvard, soon began to pursue similar policies for similar reasons, and Jewish students in the Ivy League schools were maintained at a steady 10% through the 1950s. Between 1950 and 1955, the Bronx High School of Science (whose student body historically includes a large percentage of Jews) had only seven students admitted to Yale, while Phillips Academy Andover had 275. Such policies were gradually discarded during the early 1960s, with Yale being one of the last of the major schools to eliminate the last vestige with the class of 1970 (entering in 1966).[3] Numerus Clausus (closed number in Latin) is one of many methods used to limit the number of students who may study at a university. ... 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... Yale redirects here. ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ... The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education located in the Northeastern United States. ... The 1950s was the decade spanning from the 1st of January, 1950 to the 31st December, 1959. ... 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Bronx High School of Science, commonly called Bronx Science, or just Science, is a specialized New York City public high school located in the Bedford Park section of the Bronx, with no tuition charges and admission by exam. ... Phillips Academy (also known as Andover, Phillips Andover, or simply P.A.) is a co-educational independent school for boarding and day students in grades 9-12. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ...


The religion preference question was eventually dropped from the admission application forms and informal numerus clausus policies in the American private universities and medical schools were abandoned by the 1950s.


References

  • Jerome Karabel, The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, Houghton Mifflin, 2005, ISBN 0-618-57458-1.
  • Marcia Graham Synnot, Anti-Semitism and American Universities: Did Quotas Follow the Jews?, in Jeffrey S. Gurock (ed.), Anti-Semitism in America, vol. VI, part 2, Routledge, 1998, ISBN 0-415-91933-9.
  1. ^ The "numerus clausus" policy of anti-semitism or policy of higher education Péter Tibor Nagy, The social and political history of Hungarian education
  2. ^ Reis, Arthur H., Jr. The Founding. Brandeis Review, 50th Anniversary Edition. Retrieved on 2006-05-17., pp. 42-3: founder's son C. Ruggles Smith quoted: "From its inception, Middlesex was ruthlessly attacked by the American Medical Association, which at that time was dedicated to restricting the production of physicians, and to maintaining an inflexible policy of discrimination in the admission of medical students. Middlesex, alone among medical schools, selected its students on the basis of merit, and refused to establish any racial quotas"
  3. ^ The Birth of a New Institution Geoffrey Kabaservice, Yale Alumni Magazine, December 1999

2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ...

External links

  • The Raoul Wallenberg archive index on Numerus clausus (English)
  • Numerus clausus
  • article on admission by lottery to studies having a numerus fixus in the Netherlands
  • (timeline, English)
  • Hungary

  Results from FactBites:
 
Numerus clausus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1990 words)
Numerus Clausus ("closed number" in Latin) is one of many methods used to limit the number of students who may study at a university.
The numerus clausus is currently used in countries and universities where the number of applicants greatly exceeds the number of available places for students.
The numerus clausus is currently used in Germany to address overcrowding - while the number of students has increased by 100% to two million since 1980, the number of professors has increased by only 25% in the same time period.
Numerus clausus - definition of Numerus clausus in Encyclopedia (978 words)
Numerus clausus is currently used in countries and universities where the amount of applicants greatly exceeds the number of available places for students.
Numerus clausus is currently used in Germany to address overcrowding, as the number of students has doubled (to two million) since 1980, but the number of professors has only increased by a quarter in the same time period.
However Numerus Clausus was introduced unofficially in the 1937 by the universities and the share of Jewish students was limited to 10%, that was more or less the proportion of Jews in the population of Poland (compared to 20%-40% before regulation).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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